This thesis is a move to close a critical gap in the scarce literature on female sexuality in Turkey. It aims to explore how background variables such as age, ethnicity, income, and education, as well as attitudinal variables such as religiosity affect attitudes toward women’s premarital sexuality in Turkey. The study employed survey research with a sample of 277 undergraduate female students at Istanbul University, Turkey. Among background variables, mother's education, age, ethnicity, and employment status were among the most significant predictors of attitudes toward women's premarital sexuality. For instance, younger, employed participants who identified themselves as of Turkish ethnic background and whose mothers were more highly educated possesed more positive attitudes toward women's premarital sexuality. However, for participants who never had sex, only mother's education and ethnicity were significant predictors.
Among attitudinal variables, sexual attitudes best predicted views on premarital sex. That is, participants who had more positive attitudes toward sexuality in general tended to be more permissive of premarital sex . Once the sexual attitudes variable was excluded from the equation, and the effect of the remaining attitudinal variables was tested, personal and political religiosity and political participation best predicted participants’ attitudes toward premarital sex. . More religious participants who were less active politically tended to disapprove of premarital sex. Overall, among this particular sample of Turkish women, when background and attitudinal variables were combined, personal religiosity and mother's educational background were found to be the best predictors of attitudes toward women's premarital sexuality.